Friday, June 25, 2010

Forever grateful Friday

It's good to be thankful on a Thursday and every day of the week.
Thursday is my time to reflect on my blessings....but Thursday got past me this we are on to Forever Grateful Friday.

1. I'm forever grateful for blogging. One of my blog reader friends sent me a nice note in the "real" mail to thank me for "Thankful Thursday"-- it was a sweet surprise. This blog gives me a chance to reflect on my adventures in mother hood and life. It feels like a journal and some sort of record I can keep for my family. I am glad that it does that, and it's kind of nice to know other readers are being encouraged or atleast, laughing and crying along with me.

2. I am forever grateful for summer time... I love being in the sun by the pool. We have had a great time heading down south to swim at the Morleys on Tuesdays. Laila and I are swimming at my friend Laura's pool on Thursdays. So this is the swim plan, thus far. I was raised swimming atleast 3 times a week at my Grandma Butters' pool. We would get our chores, lessons and practicing done by noon, so we could swim the rest of the day away.
I love this lazy part about makes up for the scheduled crazy part.

3. I am forever grateful that Monson has participated in sports while at BHS. He is heading off to his final summer basketball camp. Didn't he just start these yesterday, at age 14? Where has the time gone? It's great to watch him grow and develop. His goal is to go to this BYU camp and just enjoy it....oh.....and win of course. I hope it happens.

4, I am forever grateful for friends. My blue/yellow, #1 energy friend, Erin moved to Cali on Sunday. She came to church and played the piano for a youth choir, while I directed it. I couldn't make eye contact with her for fear I would end up a blithering, bawling director. She has accompanied for me and mine, more times than I can count. She is always so willing to share her incredible talents.
Anyway, her family came to church, said their goodbyes, got in their loaded down car and drove away. Wow......
Erin is a marvelous mom. She is a wonderful wife. She is a multi-talented musician. She is a fantastic friend and a dutiful daughter of God.
I hope I told her enough, how I love her and how grateful I am for her testimony.
She will be missed around here.
Erin with baby Kate....she was born with a british accent....

5. I am forever grateful for technology. Things like facebook, texting, email and blogs allow us to stay connected. I know this is different from actually seeing each other, hugging each other and speaking face to face, but I am grateful for it, just the same.

6. I am forever grateful for my missionary son. He is experiencing growing pains and loving every gospel minute of it. I wake up on Monday mornings so energized because I know there is a Truman email waiting for me to read and re read. He is having an international mission in England. He is teaching Congolese, Polish, Romanian, South African people; and eating all sorts of international cuisine. I LOVE IT!

7. I am forever grateful for my cousin Krystin's tip on 72 hour kits. Water, vitamins and appetite suppressants. Good idea.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Keep on Trekkin'


Our Trek Family: (Back row) Mike Yates, Keller Seamons, Willem Barnes, Maddie Fowers,
( boy from another family who wanted to be part of us, but his head was too small, so we said NO) Jackee Broderick, Thomas Waite, Sarah Able, Pa Wayne, Matt Cox. (Front) Lauren Tuttle, Sami Sidwell, Ma Melinda, Nate Harmon

We went.
We pulled.
We conquered.
We passed out from exhaustion.
That’s Trek in a nut shell.
It really was fun and not fun.
It was really Cold and sunny.
It was Awesome and irritating.
Fast and slow.
Work and Play.
Hard and Easy.
All of the extremes in a normal life.
Trek is an entire life, lived in four days.
Our Family was great!
We named ourselves the Dirtches......that is Dirt and Welch put together. We had 11 children. ( 4 graduated Seniors, 1 going to be senior, 4 Jr’s, 1 soph and one 9th grader. ) In the beginning they didn’t know each other too well. It was fun to watch them figure out personalities and levels of testimony. We had awkward getting to know you moments on Wednesday, but by Saturday we felt a special bond.
We had crazy winter weather on Wed. --rain, cold, muddy trails, wind and ice. We tried to sleep through a wind/ice storm. I thought for sure the tents would not survive. But we all did—with little sleep. By Thursday we had chilly/sunny spring weather…perfect for sunburns, because it's cold enough you don't feel the burn until it was too late. Friday and Saturday hot sweaty times. Three seasons in 4 days.
We trekked and set up tents and took down tents and trekked some more. We sang and told jokes and shared embarrassing moments, and “smurfed.” We called holes on the trail “Bagels” and the cow pies we called “schmear”. We laughed and cried ( a lot) with each other.

I loved it!
The Women’s Pull was incredible.
It was a silent morning. No talking, just whispering if needed. Watching the Men walk away from all of us women-folk, was heart wrenching for me. I felt a sense of loss. I am strong, and I knew we could do it, but it would be difficult. The women gathered in a meadow for a devotional about connecting with pioneer women and doing hard things. I looked around at this great group of girls and women and felt an overwhelming sense of power.
I love girls!
The boys/men gathered up top for a meeting about honoring their priesthood and honoring women.
We had 5 girls in our family—Jackee Broderick got a sprained ankle the 2nd morning from falling in a gopher hole "Bagel" and rode on top of our cart a lot. For the Women’s pull, she was determined to walk – and she hobbled along at the back corner of the cart. (She did better than any of us thought she would.)We had Sara Able who got sun stroke and a blistered swollen face on Thursday….she was at the back touching the cart. So basically we had 3 strong girls
( Lauren Tuttle, Maddi Fowers, Sami Sidwell). They were doing great up the first hill, then I saw around the bend the really hard 2nd hill. Half way up this long hill, I had to jump in and pull in the front and Laura Belnap pushed in the back. It was a struggle, that's for sure.
It was a silent pull…..we each were thinking our own stuff and making our own deals with the Lord and learning what he needed to teach us. I looked up from the rutted, rocky hill and saw the boys and men all lining the sides of the road, with their hats in their hands. I just started crying and couldn’t stop. It was so good to see them…even if just for support. They walked beside us quietly for awhile. They wanted to help our struggle, but weren’t allowed to. Just as Christ, our elder brother wants to jump in and help our struggle...he keeps cheering us on silently....knowing we can do it. As soon as the Stake President gave the word the brothers jumped in and we were flying up the hill. It was great to have them. I couldn’t stop the tears. I was so grateful for the priesthood and men.
I love boys!
It was fun playing games with our family. Wayne surprised them all with his competitive nature,expecially in the gunny sack - water ladle race. Wayne threw a PA in a leg wrestle clean over and he also won the stick pull. The favorite family game was the Jacob's Ladder walk with Thomas running from held board to held board. It was awesome.
My favorite times were the family devotional times. Twice a day we gathered on our buckets around the fire and shared feelings and pioneer stories. We talked about what we liked about trek and what we didn’t like; what and who we missed….moms, beds and showers….and what we were grateful for. These feelings intensified as the days wore on and by Friday we were all sharing testimony about our Savior and his atonement and love.

I loved singing hymns in the mountains and feeling the spirit. It was such a beautiful setting.
I really feel like we “went through something" and our family of 13 will always be close.
I hope to see them around town and at school and get hugs and high fives.
I will be interested to see how their lives turn out.

It was great to be with the Cutlers, Orchards, Belnaps, Fosters and Newmans as well. We were the red company.....Company #7. My lucky number!
Getting ready for Trek I felt like tearing my hair out. I was stressed and felt totally inadequate …but it all worked out. What I have come to realize is if we pitch in and pray and study--if we do our part, the Lord kicks in the rest to make it a spiritual high for anyone who wants to partake.

For some must push, and some must pull!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Dad's Memories

I love my Dad.

It was always Great to be known as Lyle Cole's daughter. He always had a reputation for being kind and genuine and knowing everyone in town. He is an Idaho boy through and through....but embraced Utah because that's where his love Sheri, wanted to be.

I love my dad.

My Dad was asked to write about his father and mother and what it was like growing up in Idaho for a Fairview, Idaho book.

I thought it was fitting to share this on Father's Day..........

Joseph Truman Cole and Bertha Nelson Bright

After the death of their respective spouses (Mary Louie Pratt Cole and Preston Leon Bright) Truman and
Bertha were married March 19, 1924.
They met at the Seed and Feed store in Preston where Bertha was working . She was working for her brother-in-law Dave Davis.
Truman was a good customer. Both of them had been single for about four years. Bertha was supporting her two young daughters, Thelma and Dean; and Truman was busy being father and mother to his three sons who were still at home ( Myron, Earl, and Lowell)- and one on a mission (Vern) Two other children were married and living in Fairview; Ethel Larsen (Urven) and Ed Cole (Gwen) The advantage of marrying were apparent to Bertha and Truman. And besides, they were in love! Truman now had two little girls who needed a dad and Bertha had an instant large family to take care of. They both agreed "she had jumped from the frying pan into the fire."

Life was not the easiest in the late twenties or early nineteen thirties.
It was depression time in America and the dollar was not easily made nor stretched over the family needs. With Vern just home from his LDS mission and Earl and Lowell ready to go, it was difficult to support two more missionaries as well as a large family. Truman and Bertha were both hard workers. The farm and associated livestock along with a large productive garden made it so their family always had sufficient for their needs. With a family that would eventually number thirteen, (His, Hers. and Ours) it was a challenge!
From their marriage came five children;
Roma, born March 19 1925
Married Gerold Frank Jones September 21, 1946. Parents of two children...Diana and Michael.
Phyllis born June 19 1929. Married Clyde G. Palmer May 11, 1951. Parents of two children. Allen and Bradley.
Lyle born September 25th 1931. Married Sharolyn Butters June 9, 1959. Parents of five children: Marcie, Melinda, Adam, Elizabeth, and Angela
Jay T born December 4, 1933. Married Myrna wheeler November 27, 1957 Parents of four children, Julie Ann, Nora Lynn, Robert Jay, and Jeanne
Jerold (Jerry) born August 27, 1937 Married Patricia O'Brien August 27, 1959 Parents of four children: Brian, Laurie, David, and Paula

Memories of Fairview and our growing up years are mixed and varied.
We remember the games of "annie I over" the two story school house roof; the outdoor toilets at school; the challenges with getting to school in Fairview and to Preston high school; the bus rides with our neighbors and friends; the challenges of school lunches which we have long been remembered. Those school lunches helped us love some foods and really dislike others for most of our lives.
We still remember the long days in the sugar beet fields. We now know the time working with sugar beets, alf alfa hayfields, and grain fields was building character and developing muscles. The character and muscle part was fully supported by Mom and Dad who were trying to mold us into good people. We, as kids, only felt the sneeze from the hay dust and the monotony of the long sugar beet rows. Still, it is good to look back on and remember as part of our development. More discipline came with early morning chores...milking the cows and feeding the calves...fixing school lunches and getting ready to catch the yellow school bus. All of this made quite a schedule for us.

Some memorable things: We all had great youth leaders and received much encouragement. We all still remember the Gold and Green balls along with the floor show numbers we were taught. From " Can you see my...can you see my... can you see my new shoes" to the " Virginia Reel" Lots of times we would dance with our little brothers and or big sister but it was great.
The MIA spook alleys at the church meant going down through the furnace room and up through the restrooms and a slide in the dark down to the recreation hall for the party and goodies. We also remember the boys choir, the baseball teams, the holiday parties and dances, the wedding receptions, the basketball and baseball games, All of these things run together as great "feel good in the heart" events.
We love Fairview Idaho. This is where we became good citizens and disciples of the Savior. Our lives have found us involved as church leaders and followers in places like: Sitka Alaska. Idaho Falls Idaho, Edinburgh Scotland, Nauvoo Illinois, Bountiful Utah, Fairview Idaho and Albuquerque New Mexico We have served as youth and adult leaders, as missionaries and temple workers in all of our communities. And to think it all started in Fairview.
As in all families some of us have graduated from this life and gone to a holier place.
Joseph Truman Cole...April 8 1948
Bertha Nelson Cole November 14 1967
Roma Cole Jones May 30, 1993
Garald F. Jones September 18, 2007
Clyde G. Palmer ( Husband of Phyllis Cole) November 11,2000
Jay T. Cole August 28. 1971
Brian Cole (son of Jerry and Patti) December 23,1991
Our thought and prayers and hopes turn to these family members:
Our numerous posterity holds on to the iron rod and charges onward and upward.

"Hurrah for Israel"

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Laundry at 10

When my kids turn ten years old they are responsible for their own laundry. This has been one of the best things I have done as a mother. At ten kids are excited about this possibility. My boys actually looked forward to this day.
Such Independence!
I would show them two ways to launder....put it all in together in one batch and wash with cold water, or sort it out to lights and darks and wash separately. They could do which ever they pleased.
I no longer had to match socks, fold underwear, have the trauma of "nothing to wear" be on my shoulders. They could be stinky or was up to them. I still do my share of reminding about the laundry....because I don't like stinky rooms or boys....but truly, they have done a great job with this over the years. As they got older, the gray-whites were not as appealing and sorting happened automatically. Monson still dumps it all in one load. I am just glad it gets done.
Laila is thrilled with the idea that she can do her own laundry and is occasionally found squatting on top of the dryer as she loads the washing machine. She wants to show me she can do her own laundry at 8! She needs help with the costco size laundry soap, but other than that, she pushes and spins all of the correct knobs.
Laundry has never bothered me. It never gets stacked up and feels overwhelming. I think that's because I only do 3/7th of my household.
It's a good thing!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Vacation from Vacation....please

My awesome parenting skills are totally coming into play now that we are on to week 2 of summer vacay.

SAY IN ROBOT VOICE: I am the RED Mother who must be obeyed!

I can't stop yelling at my kids.
The sad part is, I am using up my scream allotment for the entire summer in the first 10 days .
I don't understand why my son can't read my mind. He is my yard slave this summer, yet every time I turn around he has showered because in his world, he is finished working for the day. WHAT?!?
Working for the day means working ALL day.
What part of that is hard to understand?

I am already tired of my kids bugging each other....My 17 and 8 year old drive each other nuts.

80% of their exchanges end like this: Laila is crying or whining and Monson is threatening or irritated.



Which brings me to Trek.
Our Stake pioneer trek is this week.....We get to be a Ma and Pa......but.....
I will have to be on my best behavior.
I will have to stay positive in the midst of teenage complaints.
I will have to sleep on the ground, in a tent that I can't stand up in.
I will have to face the elements.... most likely wind ( which I HATE) and rain.
I will have to have an excruciatingly good attitude!
OH man, It's exhausting just thinking about it.

Okay....Week 2 of Summer Vacation....only 10 more weeks to go.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Kites in June

What we did this weekend inbetween rain and wind storms.....

We found big steel structures that made an "A" and a "W"....we celebrated because there was a break in the weather!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ingrid the Gardener

My yard is flowers in sight yet, and weeds and vines are everywhere.
Ingrid, my Gardner from Norway, showed up today to work in my yard.
(She looked so cute in her garden clogs and head scarf--Addison can verify this.)
I am so glad to have some help with this ever growing project.
Ingrid doesn't come around very often. She is so busy doing other stuff......and
I am not really complaining about my gardener, but......
She has a hard time knowing what to pull out and what to leave when weeding.
She has a hard time working in the heat.
She has a hard time bending down, kneeling down and getting back up again.
She has a hard time staying on task.
She has a hard time finding the right tools to use.
"Isn't a rock just as good as a hammer?"
Sometimes when she is muttering stuff under her breath, I can't understand her.
I guess one of these days I am just going to have to do it myself!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Elephant Rock Hike

We hiked to Elephant Rock ( that's what the locals call it, but it's really Big Rock) up Mueller Park Canyon on Saturday. We put on our most mis-matched, colorful clothes, hats and sunglasses and we headed out.
It was a gorgeous first day of Summer vacay.
Monson, Laila, Wayne and I all went on the 6+ mile round trip hike.
Laila was so excited. She has been wanting to do this for awhile, but we had to make sure she knew it was a "walk" not a "carry." She is so light weight that it's easy to want to pick her up still....but she is 8, and she walked the entire way. She made sure we all knew it was much harder for her since she had to take two steps for every one of ours.
Wayne only felt like he was going to fall off/ down the mountain twice.
"I got your back dad."
Laila was sure she could save him.
It was great to climb out onto the rock, up on top, and then relax on the bench. There is a "WAYNE" carved into the bench that Monson gave Wayne a bad time about....vandalism and all. It was a fun family activity.
We topped it off with Costa Vida and Orange Leaf ---mmmmmm!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

School's out.......

(cue music: "Schools out for the summer..)

Laila was so sad today, knowing this was the last day of school.

Monson was thrilled today, because yesterday was his last day of school.

Laila was sad because her "most favorite of all time, and no one will ever take her place" teacher is leaving Valley View to teach at a different school. Laila has loved Ms. this was a sad day for Laila. She was happy when Ms. Halverson gave out her personal email they can stay in touch.
Ms. Halverson dubbed Laila, "Queen of Questions." Laila's biggest issue this year was talking out of turn, and staying focused on the discussion, but she's so cute when she does it, it's hard to be upset with her. (She is a born talker....just like Brother Landon.)
Laila had a great year! She loved going to school and wanted to be early every day. She never wanted to be sick or miss for any reason.
She got a special award in the end of year assembly.
"Certificate of Friendship"
Laila and Jacob Evans were the only two in their class that received this award.
Laila is excited for 3rd grade. She can't wait to write in cursive and "not get in trouble for doing it, like you do in 2nd grade......"

...on the other hand.....

Monson has been counting down the end of his junior year, since last September.
He got his yearbook and had it "taken" from him , passed around ,and filled with a few autograph/phone numbers....and some "have a fun summer" notes. He thinks this is all ridiculous. *See Truman's take on year books...below...
Monson is not "big" on school.
He doesn't sluff or get bad grades...he just doesn't think he is learning anything. Maybe he's not...I don't know. I hope he's learning about getting along with people who are different than he is, and being nice to every one( even teachers), to stick up for the underdog, and not to do stupid stuff.
These are all good lessons to learn in High School along with reading, writing and 'rithmetic.
I am glad sports and being in choir keep him going.
"School is boring but a necessary evil that he has to do to keep everyone off his back."
I promise him that some day he will want to be educated and " to do" something with his life besides play sports and sing.
I am hoping his Senior year is a successful one.
This summer Monson is trying to put on muscle and he is ready for football and basketball once more. Notice the giant spoon and bowl....he also has a giant fork. Eating is serious business.

* Truman loved year book signing day.
He made it a goal to get as many as he could, and sign as many as he could. HE LOVED IT! One day at the end of last summer he went through his entire year book and called EVERYONE who wrote...."Call me" or "let's keep in touch" or "we need to get together" or left a phone number. EVERYONE. It was a joke, of course, and he smiled and laughed to himself the entire time he was doing it.
"Hello this is Truman. You wrote in my year book to call you, so I'm doing that......"
Silence on the other end.
Random + Funny= Truman

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thankful Thursday-

1. I am thankful the Choir trip is over. It was great to be with the kids and laugh and cry and sleep on the bus with them. Sleeping on a bus is much like child birth. I forget how difficult and uncomfortable it really is.....and they both make my butt hurt.
I enjoyed Sea World, Padres Game, the zoo, Lion King, Catalina Island, Old Towne San Diego, shopping, Harbor Cruise, dancing and laying comatose in my hotel bed at the end of every day.
Laura and I got matching tye dye "Save the Dolphins" jackets in San Diego.
We were freezing and we thought that jackets were fun!

2. I am thankful that Summer is here--- School is out tomorrow and I am in my "element."

3. I am thankful for my first born son....Addison. We celebrated his 24th birthday on Monday. Well actually, he celebrated it with his girl friend's family in Jackson Hole...but I heard about it. His dyslexia kicked in and at one point instead of reading aloud to Bre's entire extended family, "Gossip..don't pass it on." He said, with all confidence, "Gossip, don't piss on it." He knows how to make a lasting impression, that's for sure.
I am also thankful that he got into Pirates of Penzance at Hale Theatre.

4. I am thankful my missionary son is sending home "aha moment" letters. He is growing and gaining insights already. This is Marian who had to have 8 tries to be successfully baptized.

5. I am thankful that I got to hear Pres. Eyring speak at our Stake's Seminary graduation. It was amazing. He talked abut having a change of heart and wanting what the Savior wants in our lives. He was personal and straight forward and wonderful. What a blessing.

6. I am thankful.